Corporatism and consolidation in Central America
Wilson, Dwight Edward Fisher
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Democratic consolidation in Central America has proceeded at a languorous pace, despite the discrediting of alternatives to free markets and democracy. Why are these countries not embracing liberal-pluralist democracy? This thesis proposes that a history of authoritarian corporatism has left vestiges in the legal and political culture that precludes the acceptance of political competition and legitimacy necessary to democratic consolidation. Case studies of El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica will examine the military, labor organization, and peasantry of each country for evidence of corporatist design and practice. The evidence is found to confirm the hypothesis. The conclusion assesses the impact of corporatism on democratic functioning.